The Welsh Government recognises that supply teaching is an essential part of school life. It is vitally important that teachers who choose to work in this way are of the highest quality and are provided with the same opportunities as their colleagues in full time employment by doing this we not only support the individual teacher but aid learner outcomes in Wales.
Supply staff are entitled to access high quality resources through a variety of professional learning opportunities, and a range of networks to assist their teaching and to support their work. Supply staff should evidence the same commitment to professional learning as the Welsh Government sets out for all practitioners. The new professional standards for teaching and leadership were published in September 2017 they complement the day to day work of teachers and support professional development.
The Welsh Government has launched the National Approach to Professional Learning (NAPL) Programme to help teachers deliver Wales’ new curriculum. The new national focus for professional learning can be delivered flexibly to not disrupt the school day.
As a supply teacher registered in Wales you can also access professional learning opportunities through the following routes:
- Professional Learning Passport
- Local professional learning opportunities and events via your Local Education Consortia, local authority or through your trade union. If you are working at a school you can ask to take part in their in-service provision
- Collaborative learning - Supply teaching offers the opportunity to learn from a wide range of teachers with different experiences and in different settings. Why not establish a Professional Learning Community.
- Academic study - The Welsh Government has developed a series of innovative e-learning packs available through Hwb. There are also a number of University programs available online that you can access.
- Welsh language - The Welsh Government through the Sabbatical Scheme has developed specific training for practitioners who wish to teach through the medium of Welsh or wish to improve their Welsh-language skills.
- Induction - Statutory induction has been a requirement for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in Wales since September 2003. You can obtain information and support from your Regional Consortia. The EWC provide induction advice and support for short term supply teachers
Supply Model Taskforce
In June 2016 the Welsh Government established the Supply Model Taskforce to consider future delivery options for supply teaching in Wales. View the terms of reference for the group. The Taskforce comprised of representatives from education, local government, business and trade unions. The Taskforce engaged with key stakeholders and delivered its findings to the Cabinet Secretary for Education in December 2016. The Ministerial Supply Model Taskforce: Report to the Cabinet Secretary for Education was published in February 2017. The Taskforce was unable to identify a single existing model of delivery which could meet the needs of a rapidly changing Welsh education system. View the Welsh Government response to the report.
Work has commenced in some key areas highlighted in the report and we have already taken steps to address important issues brought to light by the Taskforce. Further work is being taken forward as key aspects of effective and sustainable workforce planning. These Supply teacher pages support the work taken forward following the publication of the Ministerial Supply Model Taskforce Report.
Hwb, is a digital learning platform which hosts a national collection of digital tools and resources to support learning and teaching in Wales. All teachers and pupils in Welsh schools are able to enjoy the benefits of access to online resources anywhere, at any time and from a range of web-enabled devices. It also provides tools to help teachers create and share their own resources and assignments. Hwb has been developed in line with the following key principles:
- to support a national approach to planning and delivery
- to enable the sharing of skills, methods and resources between teachers in Wales
- to support teaching and learning in Welsh and English
- to offer equal access to free, classroom focused tools and resources for all teachers and learners in Wales
Hwb enables learners and teachers to access online resources anywhere, at any time, from a range of devices. It also provides tools to help teachers create and share their own resources and assignments. The collection includes:
- tools and resources created or commissioned by the Welsh Government and/or its agents
- tools and resources licensed or bought by the Welsh Government
- tools and resources made available by “trusted sources”
- resources created by teachers
Supply Teacher Hwb accounts.
All supply teachers are entitled to hold their own portable Supply Teacher Hwb account (which gives access to Office 365, and your own Hwb email address). Supply Teacher Hwb accounts are manually created by the Supply Teacher Hwb Team, they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for technical help and support please contact the central Hwb team on 0300 025 2525 or email@example.com. If you have any issues in a school please seek advice from the school’s digital champion.
2019 will see over 600 supply teachers holding their own personal portable Hwb account, this is a positive step to ensuring all practitioners, however they are employed, have access to the same suite of resources.
To support the key principles of Hwb and to assist in enabling the sharing of skills, methods and resources between supply teachers the ‘Supply Teachers- Athrawon Cyflenwi’ Network has been established. This is a place for supply teachers to share best practice with each other as well as to discuss, collaborate and share resources with other supply teachers to support teaching and learning. If you hold a supply teacher Hwb account you will be eligible to access the network. If you have a supply teacher Hwb account and have not already done so please sign up to the ‘Supply Teachers- Athrawon Cyflenwi’ network, we would encourage you to do so.
There are a number of benefits to holding a Hwb account. Please share the availability of Supply Teacher Hwb accounts and the supply teachers Network with colleagues who work in supply by directing them to our sign up page at https://hwb.gov.wales/
By holding a Supply Teacher Hwb account you have agreed to abide by the terms and conditions of hwb. Anything you do on Hwb must have an educational purpose. You should not regard any of your activity as private or confidential and you must comply with the following conditions:
- Be a positive role model for your students/learners in how you use digital technologies including Hwb.
- Keep your username and password safe. You are responsible for anything that happens under your account. Report to your Hwb administrator if you suspect that your username and password have been compromised.
- If you share external links within Hwb then you deem that the content of the external website is age appropriate and has an educational purpose. E.g. Youtube.
- You may not access, distribute or place on Hwb material that is in breach of the statutory rights of copyright owners.
- Protect the school community by reporting anything you see that might cause upset or harm to yourself, other teachers or learners in the school. You are expected to demonstrate a professional approach and respect for pupils and their families and for colleagues and the school whilst online.
- Creation or transmission of any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data or other material is prohibited. Content relating to or supporting illegal activities may be reported to the authorities.
- Personal use of your mailbox and cloud storage is to be avoided. Emails may be monitored by Welsh Government.
Access to Hwb is at the discretion of Welsh Government and unacceptable use (as highlighted but not limited to that above) may result in your log-in being suspended or revoked. You may also be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with your organisation’s Disciplinary Policy.
We hope to provide Supply Teacher Hwb accounts with access to Google for Education later in the year.
The Welsh Government’s newsletter, Dysg, is a resource that provides the latest information on upcoming training and events, as well as other information on developments within the education sector in Wales. Subscribe to Dysg here.
Employment of Supply Teachers
In Wales supply teachers are employed in a number of ways. Under the local management of schools framework as outlined in the Staffing of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2006 schools are responsible for making decisions about how they organise, recruit, deploy and manage an effective school workforce. This means the arrangements currently in place for deploying supply teachers differ markedly across Wales depending on local needs, geographical constraints, and language and subject requirements. These decisions reflect the school’s individual circumstances and resources and priorities as identified in their School Development Plan (SDP).
Schools are free to engage qualified supply teachers from wherever they feel is appropriate to meet the needs of the school. This can include direct employment models, using a supernumerary or floating teacher, collaborating with other schools to share resources, or using a commercial supply agency. The National Procurement Service (NPS) Framework Agreement for Agency Workers has been developed to help schools recruit temporary staff through a national framework for Wales. In April 2015 the National Procurement Service awarded a Framework Agreement for the Provision of Supply Teachers to New Directions this framework will cease operation in September 2019.
2019 will see exciting new changes with the introduction of a new framework agreement for agency workers delivered by the National Procurement Service on a geographical lot basis. The new arrangements will apply from the 2019/20 academic year with contract awards being issued to successful agencies in spring 2019. View details of the New Framework agreement below.
There are a range of commercial supply agencies operating in Wales and the effective management of school workforce attendance Guidance outlines the minimum criteria that schools, and therefore supply teachers, should expect from the ones that they use. When schools use supply agencies the private sector agency is the employer and are responsible for setting the terms of employment. The implementation in September 2019 of the National Procurement Services Framework will support fair pay. Ultimately, decisions around how to ensure an effective workforce is in place rest with maintained schools.
We would encourage all supply teachers that are considering entering into employment with a commercial supply agency to read and understand the terms of any contract they sign. If you are a member of a trade union, they will be able to provide you with advice on supply agency contracts. Once the new National Procurement Framework contract is in place we would encourage supply teachers to take this into consideration when choosing employment with commercial supply agencies.
View Welsh Government guidance on who can work as a supply teacher and how schools should support them.
The Code of Practice – Ethical Employment in Supply Chains has been established to help ensure workers in public sector supply chains in Wales are employed in a fair and ethical way. The scope of the Code of Practice covers procurement, supplier selection, tendering, contract management and supplier management.
The National Procurement Services Supply Teachers Framework for Wales
The new arrangements will apply from the 2019/20 academic year. How will these changes affect supply teachers and schools?
The new framework will be based on a geographical/local authority lot basis rather than via an all Wales service provider contract. This approach will provide schools with a greater degree of choice and flexibility in which supply agencies to work with; enable transparency in terms of the fees payable by schools to enable them to maximise the use of their delegated staffing budgets; and ensure the protection of supply teachers whilst ensuring that minimum quality standards and statutory safeguarding obligations are met by all agencies admitted to the framework.
Schools who meet their supply teacher needs via agency staff are encouraged to use framework agencies who will have met the specified requirements. This includes registering with a representative professional recruitment body and signing up to the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains and our Fair Work principles.
So what’s new?
The new framework:-
- Strengthens requirements to ensure all qualifications, suitability and DBS checks have been made. (schools will need to be continue to be aware of their responsibilities under safeguarding requirements)
- Requires all agencies to be a member of a relevant professional recruitment body.
- Removes the use of the Swedish Derogation clause in the current Agency Worker Regulations 2010. This clause allows agencies to employ teachers on a guaranteed hours contract basis – sometimes resulting in supply teachers signing away their rights to be treated equally to their permanent colleagues after 12 weeks in the same role/placement.
- Requires agencies to work within the Code of Practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains and our wider Fair Work principles.
- Introduces a minimum daily pay rate for supply teachers; this is in line with the current School Teacher’s Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). This pay rate is to protect qualified teachers. However, there is nothing to prevent schools/agencies paying higher daily rates if appropriate. This rate will be based on the current minimum pay rate (currently £23,700 pa) which equates to £121.64 per day.
- Requires all agencies to publish their daily fees so that schools and local authorities are clear on how they are spending public money in terms of how much goes to the teacher and how much to the agency to cover their costs.
- Requires all agencies to be transparent by publishing their temporary to permanent fees when a school takes on a teacher on a permanent basis. The specification includes a sliding scale depending on how long the teacher has been placed at the school.
- Requires all agencies to offer relevant professional learning for employees and to ensure that appropriate support is given to all newly qualified teachers to enable them to meet induction requirements.
Seeking advice about the changes
The framework contracts have been awarded to the successful agencies, a list of awarded suppliers by zone can be viewed below. Please also see the link to the National Procurement Service Notice Details https://www.sell2wales.gov.wales/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY295046#
If you are a school please speak to your local authority HR or procurement contact for advice and support if required.
If you are a teacher currently employed by a supply agency please speak directly to your agency or to your teaching union representative about how this change may affect you.
Additional contact: the National Procurement Services on 0300 7900170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your rights as an agency worker - Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate
You’re an agency worker if you have a contract with an agency but you work temporarily for a hirer, as a supply teacher you are likely to be an agency worker. Agencies can include recruitment agencies, for example ‘temp agencies’.
The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) is based within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. They protect the rights of agency workers by ensuring that employment agencies and businesses treat their workers fairly. To fully understand your rights as an agency worker please see here. You can contact the EAS to make a complaint about pay and work rights.
For additional advice on who can work as a supply teacher and how schools should support them see Welsh Government guidance.
Effective management of school workforce attendance
Effective management of school workforce attendance was published in December 2017. The guidance is for local authorities, governors, headteachers, regional consortia and those responsible for staff management in schools, however, school staff, supply staff and commercial supply agencies may also find this document useful.
A new curriculum for Wales is being developed, the whole approach to developing young people aged 3 to 16 will change. To Get involved in the conversation and keep up to date with developments to the new curriculum through the Curriculum for Wales blog. You can also keep updated by listening to the Education Wales podcast on Spreaker or iTunes.
Education Workforce Council
The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is the independent regulator in Wales for teachers in maintained schools, Further Education teachers and learning support staff in school and FE settings, as well as youth workers and people involved in work-based learning.
Education Support Partnership
All teachers have ‘around the clock’ access to the support provided by the Education Support Partnership. ESP supports all teachers at any stage of their career as well as their families and dependents. It offers a range of services including coaching, counselling, financial advice, availability of grants and signposting to other supportive organisations.
Everyone in education should share a common goal of keeping learners safe. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. All organisations that come into contact with children need to make sure that the way they work keeps them safe. The Welsh Government statutory guidance 'Keeping learners safe', and the easy read version, provide advice on employers’ duties with regard to safeguarding. This includes guidance within a supply context. Welsh Government e-learning modules are available to empower all education practitioners and governors with a sound introduction to online safety and how this impacts on safeguarding learners. Each module consists of one playlist; you can find the playlists in the Online Safety Zone on Hwb.
The Welsh Government continues to provide advice to schools and supply agencies, on who can work as supply teachers for absence cover and to promote the issue of safeguarding within this context, highlighting its importance and relevance. Employing and supporting supply teachers in a school environment offers advice to supply teachers, schools and supply agencies.
School-based Supply Cluster Pilot
In October 2017 the Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced a £2.7m project to improve the way supply teachers support schools. The funding supports 15 local authorities to create new supply teacher arrangements by employing supernumerary teachers to work across clusters of schools, covering teacher absence and supporting wider school improvements and learner outcomes. The pilot project will run during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years and follows recommendations from the Supply Model Taskforce report published in 2017.
The project will be evaluated to consider impact and the benefits of such a model and to encourage local authorities and schools, as the employers of teachers, to consider this as a viable alternative delivery method. The report will be available in autumn 2019.
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